Major open data milestone: Budgets and spending of all Dutch local governments disclosed online

Major milestone for openspending and open data in the Netherlands

02 OCTOBER 2015, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Summary
Today, financial reports, periodic budgets and expenses, of more than 400 Dutch local and regional authorities are permanently available as open data and are made visible through the website openspending.nl. Spending information of all Dutch local authorities are available from 2010 and data will be automatically updated.

With openspending.nl - developed by Open State Foundation - now more than 15,000 financial reports are visible and comparable by population, households and area. Various benchmarks can be made making it possible to gain insight into the public spending of hundreds of local governments in The Netherlands.

‘This is an important milestone for open spending. With the availability of these reports as open data on such a scale, the Netherlands leads the world on local open spending’, says Arjan El Fassed, director of Open State Foundation. ‘Open data of public finances offer local and regional council members, journalists and citizens more opportunities to understand how governments spend public money’.

The data is structured around the so-called iv3-standard. In 2013, Open State Foundation started with unlocking the budget and expenses of the Amsterdam Central District. In 2014, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Interior, Open State Foundation started to request all municipalities, provinces and regional water boards to share their financial data, annual and quarterly budgets and spending. Within a year, more than 200 local and regional governments responded positively.

This made eventually the Central Bureau of Statistics to decide to share the raw data from iv3-reports, budgets and quarterly and annual financial statements of all municipalities, provinces and water boards as open data and automatically disclose future deliveries.

For the first time also the financial reports of common arrangements and partnerships between different government authorities in the areas of safety, administration, waste and environment. Until today, many elected representatives have been side-lined when it comes to transparency and monitoring such arrangements.

The availability of iv3-data is the first milestone towards financial transparency. With this effort, now the three highest aggregated levels of spending data are available. Research by VU University pointed out previously that elected representatives, journalists and citizens need more detailed information to track government spending. Therefore, Open State Foundation works with, among others, the province and the municipality of Groningen on disclosing more detailed financial reports as open data. The results will be published later this year on openspending.nl.

Quotes
"This is an important milestone for open spending. With the availability of these reports as open data on such a scale, the Netherlands leads the world on local open spending. Open data of public finances offer local and regional council members, journalists and citizens more opportunities to understand how governments spend public money." Arjan El Fassed, director Open State Foundation
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About Open State Foundation

Open State Foundation bevordert digitale transparantie door het ontsluiten van open data en de ontwikkeling van innovatieve en creatieve toepassingen te stimuleren.

Open State Foundation promotes digital transparency by unlocking open data and stimulates the development of innovative and creative applications.

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